MANILA, Philippines - Hog’s Breath Café capitalized on a strong first half in dispatching Zambales M-Builders, 83-54 on Monday in the PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Razorbacks dominated the Builders in all key departments and were never really challenged the entire game.
All 14 players fielded in by Hog’s Breath coach Caloy Garcia scored two or more with Paul Sanga showing the way with 14 points he all scored in the second half.
The Razorbacks separated from the Builders early on behind a fluid running game and sharp shooting as the league’s last unbeaten team stretched its winning streak to six games.
Earlier, Josan Nimes scored five straight points off the bench and Café France rallied in the second half to beat struggling Banco de Oro, 74-69, while James Martinez hit two 3-point shots in the fourth quarter as Cebuana Lhuillier held off Boracay Rum, 68-66.
“Our up tempo game plays a big part in our campaign. Our goal every game is to limit our opponent to below 40 percent field goal shooting. And we can only do that with a fast-paced game to hopefully wear down the opposition. I thought today we did very well,” Garcia said.
The Razorbacks were also impressive on defense. They held Zambales M-Builders to 7 of 36 shooting and forced them to 11 turnovers in the first half to open a comfortable 34-19 advantage at halftime. The Builders shot just 26 percent from the field for the game.
“I thought Zambales struggled in the first half because they missed their FEU players,” Garcia said.
Bryan Garcia, Roger Pogoy and Mike Tolomia played for FEU in the PCCL earlier and arrived late in the first quarter with Hog’s Breath already in control.
“Josan (Nimes) is an integral part of our offense so hopefully he will stay healthy until the remainder of our campaign.
He’s still hurting and I’m just glad he was able to play long minutes and give us a lift,” said Café France coach Egay Macaraya of his shooting guard, who is suffering from back spasm
The Bakers, who rebounded from an 87-94 loss to Big Chill last week, improved to 4-3 (win-loss) record to stay in contention for a playoff spot.
Mac Montilla broke the fourth and last deadlock and put Café France ahead to stay, 58-56, with two free throws with 6:59 left in the fourth.
Then Nimes checked, hit a jumper and followed it with a 3-pointer as the Bakers stretched the lead nine points
“This is a big win for us. It kept us close behind the leaders and somehow keep us in contention for the playoffs. Hopefully we could build on this,” said Macaraya, who played Mike Parala and Mark Sarangay sparingly because the two veteran big men couldn’t keep with the pace.
Joshua Alolino tallied 13 points, four assists and two steals for Banco de Oro, which played without Bobby Ray Parks Jr. The Bulldog star showed up in street clothes with back spasms.
Meanwhile, Martinez, who took all his shots from behind the arc in the fourth quarter, made 2 of 4 attempts. His first trey tied the count at 59-all and his last trey of the day put the Gems ahead to for good, 66-65 with 85 seconds remaining.
Martinez eventually finished with 15 points. Roi Sumang contributed 12 while Philp Paredes added 10 and 12 rebounds as Cebuana improved to 2-6.
“This is our last game for the year. We have a lot of catching up to do. Hopefully, the one month break will help us improve on our game,” said Cebuana coach Boyzie Zamar.
It was another heartbreaker for the Waves, who picked up its third straight loss and fell to 2-5.
After trailing for three quarter, Boracay Rum appeared headed for the victory when Mark Belo scored on a layup that gave the Waves a 59-54 lead with 7:13 to play.
But they went scoreless in the next five minutes with guard Chris Banchero committing four of Baracay Rum’s five turnovers in the fourth period on passing errors.
Café France 74 – Nimes 19, Ebondo 17, Montilla 10, Jamon 9, Gallardo 8, Abundo 6, Batino 3, Sarangay 2, Sedurifa 0, Mutombo 0, De Leon 0, Parala 0.
Banco de Oro 69 – Alolino 13, Rono 11, Khobuntin 10, Rosario 9, Villamor 8, Neypes 7, Labin-isa 4, Perez 4, Javillonar 3, JAvelona 0, De Guzman 0.
Quarters: 14-20; 33-36; 49-49; 74-69.
Cebuana Lhuillier 68 – Martinez 15, Sumang 12, Paredes 10, Zamar 9, Banal 8, Aguilar 8, Padilla 3, Javier 2, Leynes 1.
Boracay Rum 66 – Taha 13, Belo 12, Cabrera 11, Siruma 8, Sabellina 7, Banchero 6, Viernes 5, Arellano 4, Bautista 0, Tagarda 0, Eguillos 0, Ilagan 0.
Quarters: 22-10; 39-25; 52-50; 68-66.
Hog’s Breath Café 83 – Sanga 14, Macasaet 10, Racal 9, Paniamogan 8, Allera 7, Robles 7, Terso 7, Rios 6, Austria 5, Gabawan 2, Ruaya 2, Pasculado 2, Belorio 2, Bartolo 2.
Zambales M-Builders 54 – Gomez 10, Semerad A. 8, Tolomia 6, Ignacio 6, Cruz 5, Doligon 5, Perales 2, Pinas 2, Pogoy 2, Semerad D. 1, Maniago 0.
Quarters: 15-10; 34-19; 55-30; 83-54